Melanie Sparks, executive director of Institutional Support Services at The University of New Mexico, was honored recently with the Order of the NACS Eagle Award at CAMEX 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Order of the NACS Eagle is the highest honor bestowed by NACS. It honors select individuals who have gone above and beyond in service to NACS and the campus store industry. Sparks is the 15th person to receive the award since it was introduced in 1991. Produced by the National Association of College Stores (NACS), CAMEX is the largest educational and trade-show event in the campus retail industry.

“Melanie is more than an accomplished professional,” said Richard McDaniel, NACS past-president and 2013 recipient of the award. “She stands apart as a best-in-class leader, a pioneer, and a person of the highest integrity. In short, she is an ‘eagle.’”

"It was quite a surprise and truly an honor to receive the NACS Eagle Award," said Sparks. "It was through the support of UNM, administration and the bookstore team that has allowed me to be involved at so many levels to be considered for the award. I’m proud to be a part of UNM and NACS, and grateful for the award."

Sparks has worked at UNM for the last 16 years. In her current position as executive director for Institutional Support Services, she provides executive leadership to several auxiliary units, including UNM Bookstores, Golf Courses, Residence Life and Student Housing, Dining and Food Services, Public Events/Popejoy Hall, and UNM Ticketing Services.

She has served on numerous NACS committees and councils, presented at various campus store conferences, and served on the NACS Board of Trustees, including as the 2008-09 president. She is an avid volunteer for the NACS Foundation, the charitable subsidiary of NACS, serving as a board member and its 2015-16 president.

Sparks holds a BA from University of Colorado-Boulder and serves on several national professional organizations, including stints as president of the Rocky Mountain Skyline Bookstore Association, the Southwest College Bookstore Association, the New Mexico College Bookstore Association, and the National Association of College Stores.

She has been an active member and served as president of both the Rocky Mountain Skyline Bookstore Association and the Southwest College Bookstore Association.